Dear First Unitarian community,
At this time last year, as the world was responding to the growing threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, First Unitarian pivoted to virtual church. Now we are entering an in-between time that may well be as challenging as dealing with the early days of the pandemic. Those who are vaccinated may feel ready to start gathering in person. Each person and each family will have different levels of risk and risk tolerance. We will need to navigate different and complex decisions taking into account care for the whole of our community.
Together, the Board, Executive Team, Staff and Ministers (both Rev. Tracey and Rev. Pam) have determined our best path forward is to plan for a hybrid opening of the First Unitarian building on Ingathering Sunday, September 12 (unless the virus says otherwise.)
Between now and then, following guidance from the CDC, the UUA, the state of Delaware and in consultation with our Covid Task Force, we will explore options for a hybrid plan reflective of what we’ve learned and how we anticipate things might be (assuming success in control of the spread of Covid variants and in administering vaccinations).
For the last year, we have lived with unknowing and uncertainty. We have grieved, and continue to grieve, losses. We search for joy and ways to remain safe and (re)connect with one another. So much has changed. What does (re)connecting mean now? How will it feel? How can we create it in the new church year? What are we missing? What are our opportunities? Planning for the new church year is an opportunity for living into a new normal.
Even though the virus controls the time line, we have time to prepare for what comes next. We are not in an immediate crisis as we were last year. As we plan, as we adjust, conditions can and will change – and new questions will emerge. Patience, planning and flexibility are essential.
As CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said, “we have so much hope on the horizon and we are asking you to hang on just a little bit longer.”
With hope and patience,
Rev. Tracey Robinson-Harris